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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

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Obamacare plans’ drug spending rose faster than other plans in 2016: Express Scripts

Spending on Rx drugs for health plans created under the ACA increased in 2016 at a rate more than three times that of other commercial plans and most government-run plans managed by Express Scripts Holding.

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FDA approves carcinoid syndrome diarrhea drug

The U.S. FDA approved Lexicon Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s oral drug to treat carcinoid syndrome diarrhea, a condition that develops in patients with gastrointestinal tumors.

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FDA warns Pfizer over contaminated drugs at Kansas plant

The U.S. FDA said Pfizer’s process for manufacturing sterile injectable drugs at a plant in McPherson, Kansas was “out of control” and put patients at risk, according to a warning letter.

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UK rejects Merck’s Keytruda as initial treatment for lung cancer

Britain’s healthcare watchdog NICE, which assesses the cost effectiveness of medical treatments, has stopped short of recommending the use by the National Health Service (NHS) of Merck & Co. Inc.’s immunotherapy drug Keytruda in newly diagnosed lung cancer patients after giving the go-ahead in December 2016 for patients who had prior treatment.

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Kite’s cancer drug clears main study goal

Kite Pharma Inc.’s experimental CAR T-cell therapy was highly effective in treating aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, meeting the main goal of a key study.

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Longer survival seen with Amgen’s Kyprolis vs Velcade in myeloma study

Patients with relapsed multiple myeloma treated with Amgen Inc.’s Kyprolis lived more than seven months longer than those who received Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s Velcade, according to data from a late-stage study released by Amgen.

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Accera’s Alzheimer’s drug trial fails

Nestle SA-backed Accera Inc.’s experimental Alzheimer’s drug failed a late-stage study in the pursuit of an effective treatment for the rampant mind-wasting disease.

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Exclusive: Janssen Pharmaceutical Just Came Clean on Drug Pricing Data

As the life sciences industry faces growing criticism over pricing of its drugs and services, Janssen released its first annual transparency report that highlights its pricing and marketing practices, patient access programs and costs of the company’s clinical trials.

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Troubled Cempra Slashes 67 Percent of Workforce

Antibiotic drugmaker Cempra Inc. will terminate 67 percent of its employees following the U.S. FDA’s rejection of solithromycin, an oral and intravenous drug being evaluated for the treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) in adults.

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Perrigo Cuts 750 Jobs, Sells MS Drug Royalties for $2.85 Billion and Loses CFO to Amgen

Shares of Perrigo were down more than 11 percent in premarket trading following the company’s announcement it was terminating 750 employees and divesting its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri as part of a strategic plan to improve operations.

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